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Mats-Morgan (Band) - Heat Beats Live / Tourbook 1991-2007 CD (album) cover


Mats-Morgan (Band)


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.08 | 6 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Mats/Morgan Band new release is a great compilation of some of their most recent concerts, between 2005 and 2007, with some of their habitual bandmates, including Tommy Tordson on bass and Simon Steensland. The performances range from the solo to the quintet, from acoustic to electric, from great compositions to crazy improvisations, so you can appreciate the wide spectrum of their music. Moreover, this compilation includes a DVD by Morgan Agren, so newcomers to the band can understand where they come from and, for non beginners, discover the origins and previous incarnations of one of the most interesting bands of the moment

The album has a great start with "The Return of Advokaten", this time with a clear jazzy flavour on the beginning, very different to other versions of the song, but with the same crazyness throughout it. You can compare it with The Bösendorfer of Advokaten, much more experimental, to realize how inventive they are and how they can, like many master musicians, reinterpret their music in such different ways without being repetitive.

"Rhinecliff Hotel" is one of my favourite cuts, because I am very fond of their duo acoustic sets. Quite jazzy set with Mats Öberg on grand piano, very interesting, and far from their bombastic improvisations, for example the extended version of "Mats Jingle", mainly a drum solo with background keyboards, a piece where Morgan Agren displays all his energies. The duo format will appear later on the record in Watch Me Pleasure, this time with Mats Öberg on keyboards on a typical semi improvised song, quite different from the studio version.

"Pulse" is a very intriguing and mysterious track and, although it is highly promising, I think it is a bit too short, and I consider it only plays the role to provide the listener the opportunity to listen to the full band, with Robert Elovsson and Jimmy Agren. What a pity this is the only piece with this personnel.

The most aggressive parts of the record are represented with Tvingle and Truvas Rumba, where the band shows its most fierce playing with a brutal rhytm section and furious soloing, so you can fully appreciate the mutual understanding of the band members. Superb.

One of the curiosities of this record is the possibility to listen to Morgan Agren playing keyboards, but only in two minor studio pieces that are merely interludes, but it may be the beginning of a new dimension on his playing and maybe other developments on their future music.

The last song of the CD, "Cry of Laika", is a slow tune by Mats Öberg, soloing on keys and harmonica, with very delicate taste, and a great piece to finish the record in a very different way of their typical sets.

As far as the DVD is concerned, it is not a MATS/MORGAN BAND one, but a Morgan Agren one. I mean, you can understand a bit more the biography of the band through the biography of Morgan Agren, one of the most impressive drummers in current musical scene. It is quite interesting to watch his early performances with such a wide array of musicians, including jazz, rock, blues and classical music. As you can imagine, it is full of drum solos, even from his very beginnings. What I did not like about it is that there are too many excerpts so, at the end, it looks more as a collage than as a collection of performances. In my opinion, the best performances are those with Fredrik Thornendal and the 2007 Swedish set, from with some of the material of the CD was taken. Although I would not consider it an essential record by itself, I think it is a great idea to include it as a bonus.

MATS/MORGAN BAND become each and every day more essential to understand the most risky and unconventional side of modern music. They are highly talented as composers, but they are even better as players, and I think their music is not only addressed to those listeners interested in the most radical side of music, but also to open minded listeners who want to discover one of the most interesting band nowadays. I give this record 4 stars.

victor77 | 4/5 |


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